IT specialists are in high demand. Before the corona crisis A report on the shortage of skilled labour without this realisation. But what impact is the coronavirus crisis having on the IT labour market? To answer this question, we use the unemployment figures from the Federal Employment Agency on the one hand and Indeed data on job advertisements and job search behaviour on the other.

IT specialists work in many different sectors. Some of these sectors have been hit harder by the coronavirus crisis than others. As a result, the IT labour market has not been spared from the coronavirus crisis. Indeed data shows that companies are currently doing well to recruit the highly competitive IT specialists, as IT specialists are increasingly looking for jobs in some areas. At the same time, the number of job advertisements has also fallen in the IT sector due to the coronavirus crisis. On the company side, this currently means slightly less competition. From the perspective of job-seeking IT specialists, however, there is no need to panic. Although the unemployment figures in the IT sector have risen sharply, in absolute terms they are still at a low level - and there are plenty of IT jobs available. Right now, it doesn't hurt to see which companies are investing in the future and looking for IT specialists despite the coronavirus shock.

IT unemployment figures have risen at an above-average rate

Germany-wide, the Number of unemployed increased by 25.8 % in May 2020 compared to the same month of the previous year. So far, little attention has been paid to the sharp rise in unemployment figures in IT occupations (the official designation in the classification of occupations is "computer science and other ICT occupations"). Compared to the same month last year, the number of unemployed people in the IT sector increased by 32.8 % in May 2020. The Federal Employment Agency divides the unemployed into the groups "helper", "skilled worker", "specialist" and "expert". A detailed look at the statistics shows that unemployment figures in the IT sector have increased, particularly among experts.

There are, of course, occupations in which unemployment figures rose even more sharply in May 2020 - for example in tourism, hotel and catering occupations by 52.7 %. Nevertheless, the increase in unemployment figures in the IT sector is above average. This is an indicator of how strong the impact of the coronavirus crisis actually is on the labour market.

IT labour market: above-average decline in job advertisements

Indeed analyses in recent weeks have shown that the various professions have been affected very differently by the coronavirus crisis. The development of job advertisements in IT has currently fallen slightly above average - compared to the overall development of job advertisements in Germany. Job advertisements for jobs in IT support or IT infrastructure have fallen less sharply than jobs for software development. Jobs in the field of data analytics and information management, which includes data scientists and business analysts, for example, have declined even more sharply.

This shows that the IT labour market has not been spared. The containment measures have posed challenges for recruiting in companies. Not only the recruiters themselves had to find their way around the new situation (and possibly working from home). Company strategies for personnel development also had to be reconsidered and recruiting had to be adapted to the new situation - keyword: online job interviews. All of these reasons combined will certainly have contributed to the decline in job advertisements in the IT sector. In addition, IT specialists work in many industries - and some of them have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus crisis. Some companies have announced short-time working or had to lay off employees. This is also having an impact on new job advertisements in the IT sector, which are being reduced or halted for the time being.

Corona crisis

IT specialists are increasingly looking for jobs in some areas

How are IT specialists reacting to the current coronavirus situation? In order to analyse the corona effect on the one hand and to observe long-term trends on the other, we compare current search queries with the period before the corona crisis and with the same period last year.

An analysis of search queries on Indeed shows: There is currently an increased search for new jobs in some IT areas. Data analytics-related search queries for "data scientist", "data analyst" or "Python" are currently following a long-term trend of increasing interest among job seekers. The proportion of these keywords in all search queries has been increasing since before the coronavirus crisis. The topic of "e-commerce" is also becoming more attractive, as the searches show. "Machine learning", which is used in the context of automation and artificial intelligence, has attracted slightly less interest from job seekers compared to the previous year, but now during the coronavirus crisis, its share of all search queries has increased.

In contrast, searches for "IT" and "system administration" are decreasing. Only part of the decline occurred during the coronavirus crisis. One possible explanation is that specialists in these two areas were so busy supporting the home office that there was not much time left for job hunting. Because we know from previous Indeed analyses: People are mainly looking for new jobs during working hours.

The development of search queries in the area of software development looks different. Searches for "software developer" have not only increased compared to the same period last year, but also since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. More IT specialists appear to be searching the labour market. While the programming languages #C and Java are searched for more frequently, PHP is searched for less often. Whether this is a coronavirus effect or a general trend in the popularity of programming languages remains to be seen.

IT specialists are not used to uncertainty. They are already told how much they are in demand during their training or studies. The current exceptional coronavirus situation will give us food for thought. Particularly in sectors that have been hit hard by the crisis, it may become clearer that jobs are not as secure as expected. This does not mean that there are not enough other job opportunities for this group of skilled workers. But it does mean that IT specialists who previously felt secure are beginning to sound out the market.

IT specialists

The coronavirus crisis will not solve the skills shortage in IT

The coronavirus crisis will not solve the high demand for IT specialists. Even if some companies are currently more cautious about hiring in the IT sector than before the coronavirus crisis, it is unlikely that IT specialists will be needed less after the crisis. After all, we are all becoming aware of how important digitalisation is. And which specialists are needed for this? That's right, IT specialists.


For this analysis, we examine search queries from the IT sector for Indeed as a proportion of all search queries from 1-19 June 2020. We compare the change in search queries compared to both the period before the coronavirus crisis (1-19 February 2020) and the change compared to the same period in the previous year (1-19 June 2019). We took into account the fluctuations in search behaviour by calculating the moving average (7 days) of the share of all searches for the individual search terms.

In addition, we compare the development of online job adverts on Indeed this year since the beginning of February with the development last year over the same period. A moving average over 7 days is calculated for each day. The 1st February serves as the base value (1st February = 100).

We have defined 1 February as the baseline, as the coronavirus had not yet arrived in Germany at that time, with a few exceptions. It was not until the week of 24 February that two cases were reported in Heinsberg, allowing us to compare developments before the coronavirus pandemic with developments during the coronavirus pandemic.

Information based on publicly available data from the Indeed Germany website (and other countries mentioned) is not a prediction of future events and includes both paid and unpaid job postings.

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